Thursday 17 December: The most romantic city in India with a beautiful lake, palaces and temples.
Island Palace is best viewed from the the northern shore of the lake which is inhabited by exotic waterfowl like Wigeon, Dollarbird, Egret and the Common Kingfisher - seen throughout India on beer bottle labels.
The lakeside City Palace complex is the largest in Rajasthan and the only one of the three on the lake open to visitors.
All white marble, Lake Palace, now a five star hotel, is famed as the film-set for 'Octopussy Island' in the movie of Ian Fleming's 1966 short Bond story. A British film to the core it's screened nightly in most hotel restaurants to the cringing enjoyment of most diners.
Unbelievably, in such a large country, bumped into Kevin again who had cycled here via Delhi, Agra and Bundi.
Six-hour bus ride to Amhmedabad for Somnath Mail sleeper train to Vereval and early morning three-hour local bus to Diu for a seaside Christmas and New Year.